Doors that don’t lock and personal safety/insurance

Hi All,

I am new to THS and on my fourth sit, I have loved them all so far and love this one too but ……

There are several external doors and some I have discovered don’t lock.

This is the way the HO lives, they have lived here all their lives and rely on the large dog for security and personal safety. But I have become uncomfortable about this (I didn’t worry too much about locking doors the first few nights) and tried to lock all of the external doors a few days into the sit. One door locked easily, one door won’t lock at all and one door I managed to lock but now can’t unlock. I suspect that the doors haven’t been locked for many years.

I have offered to get a locksmith out (I have to pay I guess) but the HO has arranged for a locksmith to come out when they are home in a weeks time.

This leaves me uncomfortable because I am still sleeping in a house that is not secure 24/7 and I feel like the HO might be annoyed that I have tried to secure the house which will now cost money (We haven’t had a conversation about cost).

I knew that security was a lax before the sit but it hadn’t crossed my mind that the doors might not lock at all.

A lesson learnt for me - I need to ask the right questions.

All the other HOs I have sat for have been very security and safety conscious.

Plus I’m not sure how this affects my insurance if anything did happen - I need to find out.

Apart from this I am loving the sit, the HO is really generous and has gone above and beyond with Christmas decorations, baked me am amazing fruit cake, told me to help myself to any food ……. lots of logs for the log burner etc, the location in idyllic and the dogs just the best.

I would love to sit for the HO again but I couldn’t stay without locked doors.

I would welcome your thoughts, both HOs and sitters.

I have sat at a home where I was under very strict orders to always lock up everything, even when I was out just a few minutes. And I got messages whenever the local police had written something about burglaries (which was several times per week). So one maybe could call the HO “security conscious”.

But in reality it would have been quite easy for a burglar to enter this house.

Hi thank you for your response.

That is over the top I have to say and that level of vigilance wouldn’t be relaxing.

I have been burgled and he broke in so I know how easy it is for someone to get in but if doors are locked it does buy you time. I woke in the early hours with him standing at the end of my bed so I know how easily these situations can occur, I was very lucky he ran off when I spoke to him.

I had another similar incident when working on a farm when four men tried to get into a building I was sleeping in, fortunately I had locked the doors they didn’t break in and left.

Personal safety I think is important when you are on a sit.

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Where is the sit located? Looking up the crime statistics for your area may give you (or not) some measure of comfort?

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Oh no I just couldn’t stay there my door to my own flat is always locked .

Hi, thank you for your response - that is a good idea.

I should have thought of that.

Although I’m a country bumpkin now living in a town have experienced more crime in rural/farming locations.

I feel a bit easier now about it but not entirely happy.

I think the Rottweiler would make most think twice.

Hey, thank you for your response.

It didn’t dawn on me for a few days that I didn’t like the situation, I just accepted it, but then I realised it would be very easy for someone to get in and once in I don’t know how the dog would react. I just hope her presence would be enough to put someone off.

Like you my doors are always locked unless I am gardening or similar.

Every sitter deserves at minimum to feel safe. If you still don’t after the input you’ve received, I suggest that you simply tell the host that you’re not feeling safe and would like to know how they can help. There’s no need for you to solve this on your own, because it’s their house and your shared sit. And you don’t need to defend that you don’t feel safe. They might feel perfectly safe without locks, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Much of the world uses locks. Your expectation for locking doors is nothing out of the ordinary.

And BTW, if anything happened to you and it was because someone entered their home because doors didn’t lock, they might face serious liability issues. Insurance might not even cover them, because insurers typically expect people to take basic precautions, especially if you’ve raised the issue with the homeowners.

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How much longer is your sit?

And when they are safe?

The real danger in most of the world is traffic. Safest thing would be not to travel.

I am now in Stockholm. Here there have been quite a few bombs exploding in staircases of apartment buildings (conflicts between gangs). There is a very sturdy door here, but that could get blown out. I had not even thought about it until this thread got me imagining dangers.

@Stripylabrador I’m sorry you’re in an unsafe situation. There are door stop alarm wedges that prevent the door from opening and also sound an alarm. There are also alarms that hang on the door knob and alarm when there is any movement (they’re very sensitive). Both are small and inexpensive ($10-$15) and once purchased they could easily be taken to future sits for added security.

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Minimally in a home when no one can just walk in on you, because the doors and windows don’t lock. When the building meets code. That sort of thing.

Of course no one is absolutely safe anywhere in the world. We all know that.

Yes, I’ve bought these and have taken them to sits that have doors to the outside world. I sometimes sit in high rise apartments (usually with front desk/doorman), so I feel safe and have no need for them there. But, I take them just in case.

@Stripylabrador , I feel for you. I wonder the same thing as @belluca. How much longer do you have? I had a sit, fortunately it was only for two nights, but it was a house in the country with doors that didn’t lock and they were French doors so even if they did lock, the windows could have easily been broken. At least your sit has an aggressive breed dog. That is some protection. This sit had two lovable, docile doggies. I got through it by trying not to think about it. It might be a good idea to include something about this in your review.